.. okay, not quite.
Following a successful 18 months at Southampton, I suggested that if a decent offer came in for me to move elsewhere, I’d accept it. Well Joachim Loew had just won the EUROs with Germany, and felt enough was enough, resigning following his second successive major tournament win. The man to replace him: Jurgen Klopp.
When Dortmund come calling, you don’t say no. I don’t usually like managing an already large club on FM, but it’s slightly different when you don’t just drop yourself in there at the start. Maybe that’s just me.
First order of business was to put Marco Reus on the transfer market. And when the £41.5m bid came in from Bayern Munich, to accept it. There’s method to the madness. Hear me out.
Having featured radars heavily in the previous few posts, they received very positive feedback. So I’ve put a bit of effort in, and now have much more accurate data that gives values I’m happy with.
One of the main pieces of feedback was that it was too easy to reach the outer boundary of each stat. I’ve tried to rectify this somewhat whilst still keeping with the initial data collection methods.
Each boundary represents [roughly] 5%/95% of the total population. This was previously the top three leagues in Europe, but it now contains two seasons worth of the top six leagues.
Having somehow finished the first year in 15th, I was hoping to push on and solidify our position as a top half team in 2015/16. Gabriel Barbosa and Eder Alvarez Balanta were to be key players, having spent the latter half of the season settling into life in England. They were also aptly supported by some big signings in the Summer window.
I went into the Summer with a philosophy in mind and a slightly different scouting process in order to follow through with it. In my last post, I focussed on the search for a right midfielder. The conclusion was that Joel Campbell was the man, with Adel Taarabt as the backup. We signed neither. Campbell chose Fiorentina. As for Taarabt, we agreed a deal with QPR, and then a contract with the player. As I went to confirm the transfer, the option was not there as he’d torn his cruciate ligaments only the day before — out for 8-9 months, failed medical. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy or sad that we’d missed out on his signing, at that point.
Taking over a team at dead last is always going to be tricky, and so it proved early on. I expected to avoid relegation with ease, but it went down to the final day where any of four teams could’ve finished in the dreaded relegation zone, whilst Stoke and Sunderland had already sealed their own fate in 19th & 20th.
We were able to comfortably beat Crystal Palace at St. Mary’s, and end up in a much undeserved 15th place finish. Having spent only three weeks of the season outside of the relegation zone, there’s lots of work to do to ensure we’re able to finish top half next year, as the board expect.